With half of the 2018/19 NHL season behind us, we are starting to see legitimate playoff teams pull away from the pack. With that said, several borderline teams are likely trying to find ways to improve their squad in attempts to secure a playoff berth.
As the trade deadline nears, more moves are bound to go down in the coming month. As a result, several big names might be on the move this year.
Here is a look at five of the more well-known defensemen who could be moved at the trade deadline this year.
Colton Parayko - St. Louis Blues
With the St. Louis Blues sitting at the bottom of the standings in the West, rumors, and speculations have been swirling around many names including Colton Parayko.
The right-handed minute-eating defenseman is just entering his prime and would likely draw interest from many teams around the league. At only 25-years-old with a reasonable cap hit ($5,500,000), the St. Louis Blues can potentially net a massive return if they were to trade him.
Teams like Toronto and Edmonton could be suitors as they are a couple of the more desperate teams looking for an upgrade on defense.
If Parakyo does get traded, it would be a game-changing move for the team that acquires him.
Jake Muzzin - Los Angeles Kings
With how things are going in Los Angeles this year, Jake Muzzin is another defenseman that could potentially be a trade candidate at this year’s deadline.
The 29-year-old is coming off a career season in 2018 and has one year left at a $4,000,000 cap-hit.
With the core getting older in Los Angeles the Kings might be willing to move Muzzin as they try to look for ways to revamp their team. Muzzin should generate some interest from contending teams and the Kings could probably get a nice return for their veteran defenseman.
Alec Martinez - Los Angeles Kings
Like Muzzin, Alec Martinez is another name the Kings might be interested in moving at the deadline this year. The 31-year-old’s contract still has two more years left on his deal at $4,000,000.
But, with the Kings looking to get younger on the backend, Martinez may be moved in order to promote younger players on the depth chart. At the same time, trading Martinez should give the Kings a little more financial security to take care of other priorities.
Martinez is a proven playoff performer and can be a solid second-to-third pairing defenseman on a contending team.
Could a team like the Tampa Bay Lighting or the Montreal Canadiens make a pitch for him to shore up their defensive core?
Justin Faulk - Carolina Hurricanes
Justin Faulk’s name has been in the rumor mills for a while over the past few seasons, and this may finally be the year where he gets traded.
The 26-years-old's contract expires in 2020 and he hasn’t extended a long-term deal with the Hurricanes yet.
Carolina might not want to commit to him long-term either, as they already have big money committed to other defenseman like Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, and Calvin De Haan.
With his production on the downswing over the past few seasons, a change in scenery might be what Faulk needs to rejuvenate his game.
Faulk is a smooth skating right-handed defenseman with some offensive skill and could draw some interest from teams desperate for a puck mover on the back end.
Parting ways with him might be a move the Hurricanes are willing to make, as they look for ways to improve their offense.
Jay Bouwmeester - St. Louis Blues
At 35-years-old, Jay Bouwmeester is in the twilight of his NHL career. He becomes an unrestricted free agent next season, and it doesn't look like the Blues will bring him back.
Out of everyone on this list, he might be the best buy-low rental option for a playoff team looking for a veteran defenseman.
Whether Bouwmeester can still be a high-impact player remains to be seen but it never hurts to have an extra NHL defenseman on your team during a long playoff run.
If they are able to work out the finances, could a team like the Buffalo Sabres or Pittsburgh Penguins be in the market for a player like Bouwmeester?
What do you think of these potential trade candidates? And where will they go? Let us know in the comment section below.